20 Year Sleep: 1973 Volvo 1800 ES

Volvo’s 1800ES wagon is one of very few examples of a wagon-style automobile that offered a striking design with refined performance. Following the success of the P1800 coupe, the 1800 ES provided Volvo shoppers with the conservative, safe driving dynamics they knew and loved in a shape that would broaden its appeal well beyond traditional Volvo drivers. This example has been hiding in a garage for 20 years and remains in excellent condition; you’ll find this survivor here on eBay with bidding over $3K.

The 1800 ES featured a distinctive rear glass shell, along with endless side windows and a sexy two-door design. This example is said to wear green paint, but it’s hard to tell whether it’s the classic Volvo shade of dark green paint or a respray with some blue mixed in. Tidy chrome bumpers look sharp, along with OEM steel wheels with a polished lip.

The interior is holding up incredibly well, and seems to lend credence to the seller’s claim that the 1800 ES has seen very little use in recent years. The four-speed manual is the preferred transmission, and should offer performance in the low teens for the 0-60 run. The seat bottoms appear to be a different color than the back portion, but it could be my eyes playing tricks.

The seller says this is a “running when parked” car and that he believes the 1800 ES should run again. A 2.0L B20 engine with Bosch fuel injection shouldn’t take too much effort to sort out, and a large community of 1800 owners will help troubleshoot from afar, if needed. These wagon variants rarely combine rust-free condition with the preferred manual transmission, but this example is certainly checking the right boxes.

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  1. Eric Z

    I like Snow Whites coffin.

  2. Mountainwoodie

    Type THAT in German!

    One of my favorite autos of all time. Passed one up at 6K with an aftermarket steel sunroof! In OEM dark green…I’m so cheap

  3. mainlymuscle

    The second best looking wagon of all time ! (57 Nomad )
    I just wish they were a little zippier,but this one looks very nice.

    • Oddimotive Cason Oddimotive Cason Member

      Remember, all P1800s are coupes, bit not all coupes are P1800s.

      • Mark Radtke


      • Oddimotive Cason Oddimotive Cason Member

        Oops, meant that to be a general reply, not one to mainlymuscle.

        My point was that “P1800” refers only to the 6,000 or so early cars manufactured by Jensen in the UK. The later, Volvo-assembled vehicles were called “1800S” when carbureted at first and then “1800E” (for “einspritz”) when they moved to fuel injection. All of the wagons were fuel injected and were called 1800ES.

  4. Ian F

    Bidders beware. Just from the few rust pictures shown, I would be very wary of this car. The 1800 body is very good at hiding sins. I’ve owned three of these and know this all too well. Cars that “look” great are often far from it.

    I would not go above the current $6700ish bid without further in person inspection.

    • leiniedude leiniedude Member

      You could be onto something Ian F. The car is posted from New Bern, N C, A fun coastal spot with that salt spray. Pretty cars for sure and I will say one of the best looking 5 MPH bumpers of the time. As for you Wrong Way, you just got a cool truck, you need to learn to share, LOL!

      • Wrong Way

        If you only knew tell caos I caused. The boys have just got everything done excited for paint on the 356 I bought. They are kicking around too much. I gotta keep those boys busy. I better mention they are grown men, but still my boys. They get a paycheck every week from the ol’man just like clock work. They just thought they would be paid for kicking back. Not so, my dad worked me like a slave. I don’t do it to them tho. Have a great evening! Toodle-do !

      • schooner

        Not to mention New Bern was underwater recently. Very disquieting seeing places on the news where we had stood a few weeks before.

  5. FOG

    Great ghost of Simon Templar !!! Makes me want to binge watch “The Saint”.

  6. Wrong Way

    Bid is over 6g. This is another great example of a vehicle being bid on because of want. This is why bidding goes so high above a cars real worth. I have always loved the 1800, but will not be intimidated to buy it. There are better examples then miss one for the money . JMHO!

  7. Cobrajetter

    No question that it has had a re-spray. The engine compartment reveals that.

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